China Air Pollution

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, China has abundant tourism resources, the vast majority of which are of great renown. However, the number of tourists visiting China declined from 2013, mostly due to its increasingly serious air pollution. Many cities have been adversely affected by hazy weather since the beginning of 2013. This is especially true of central and eastern China’s cities such as Tangshan, Jinan, Zhengzhou, and Xi'an for example.

It is known to all that the rapid development of China’s economy in the past 30 years resulted in environmental degradation. Nevertheless, the hazy weather records of China in 2013 attracted global attention. It is a pity that as a consequence some foreign residents choose to give up their jobs and life in China.

China Air Pollution Map

As what can be seen from the above map, central China, eastern and south China are the most effected districts, especially the Yangtze River Delta including Shanghai. Not without consequence, this air pollution map is almost the same as the map of China’s population distribution.  The air quality is good in most part of northern and northwest China. Furthermore, the hazy weather has obvious seasonal characteristic, which usually occurs in the autumn and winter.

 

Air Quality Index (AQI)

As the new standard of measurement for air quality, AQI is a quantitative description of the air quality index. The major pollutants involved in the analysis including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), inhalable particles (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO). Here PM2.5 and PM10 are measured in micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3).

According to “Technical Regulation on Ambient Air Quality Index (on trial)”, AQI is divided into six levels in total, with Level one being the best and Level six being the worst.

 

AQI and Health Implications

AQI Air Quality Health Implications
0–50 Excellent No air pollution.
51–100 Good Few hypersensitive individuals should reduce the time for outdoor activities.
101–150 Lightly Polluted Slight irritations may occur, children, and those who with breathing or heart problems should reduce outdoor exercise.
151–200 Moderately Polluted Irritations may occur, and it may have an impact on healthy people’s heart and / or respiratory system, so all people should reduce the time for outdoor exercise.
201–300 Heavily Polluted Healthy people will be noticeably affected. People with breathing or heart problems will lack exercise tolerance. Those patients, children and elders should remain indoors.
300+ Severely Polluted Even healthy people will lack endurance during activities. There may be strong irritations and symptoms. So all people should avoid outdoor activities.
 

Air Quality Rankings of Chinese Major Tourist Cities in 2019

Rank City Province belongs to AQI Air Quality Level PM2.5 PM10
1 Nanning Guangxi 19 Excellent 11 17
2 Tianjin Tianjin 21 Excellent 16 33
3 Kunming Yunnan 22 Excellent 15 22
4 Yinchuan Ningxia 24 Excellent 10 36
5 Baotou Inner Mongolia 25 Excellent 11 21
6 Datong Shanxi 26 Excellent 14 22
7 Harbin Heilongjiang 26 Excellent 13 24
8 Dali Yunnan 27 Excellent 8 35
9 Changchun Jilin 28 Excellent 14 28
10 Sanya Hainan 28 Excellent 16 23
11 Haikou  Hainan 32 Excellent 12 35
12 Beijing Beijing 33 Excellent 6 38
13 Lhasa Tibet 35 Excellent 21 22
14 Guilin Guangxi 38 Excellent 28 36
15 Guiyang Guizhou 39 Excellent 27 34
16 Xiamen Fujian 40 Excellent 27 36
17 Shijiazhuang Hebei 44 Excellent 8 46
18 Lanzhou Gansu 44 Excellent 20 47
19 Hohhot Inner Mongolia 46 Excellent 20 39
20 Lijiang Yunnan 46 Excellent 32 24
21 Chengdu Sichuan 47 Good 25 50
22 Qingdao Shandong 55 Good 11 59
23 Shengzhen Guangdong 57 Good 39 54
24 Xi'an Shaanxi 57 Good 11 63
25 Shengyang Liaoning 58 Good 14 66
26 Fuzhou Fujian 59 Good 33 67
27 Dalian Liaoning 61 Good 14 72
28 Guangzhou Guangdong 62 Good 48 66
29 Jinan Shandong 69 Good 8 88
30 Taiyuan Shanxi 77 Good 18 102
31 Xining Qinghai 78 Good 51 75
32 Zhengzhou Henan 80 Good 20 117
33 Hangzhou Zhejiang 93 Good 69 91
34 Changsha Hunan 117 Lightly Polluted 93 75
35 Yangzhou Jiangsu 137 Lightly Polluted 102 162
36 Chongqing Chongqing 155 Moderately Polluted 162 170
37 Luoyang Henan 158 Moderately Polluted 89 266
38 Wuhan Hubei 168 Moderately Polluted 149 119
39 Shanghai Shanghai 219 Heavily Polluted 169 179
40 Suzhou Jiangsu 240 Heavily Polluted 212 209
41 Urumqi Xinjiang 264 Heavily Polluted 222 115
42 Hefei Anhui 268 Heavily Polluted 217 205
43 Nanjing Jiangsu 302 Heavily Polluted 245 291

Note: AQI and Air Quality Level may vary day by day; the data here is just average value for reference only.
- Last modified on Jan. 16, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Air Pollution
Asked by LASI | Jan. 09, 2019 09:38Reply
Hello, would you tell me please what is the average AQI in Hong Kong in late April?
Answers (1)
Answered by Andy from CANADA | Jan. 09, 2019 18:42
00Reply


Hi, the AQI of HK at present is about 40 but I can't find the data in April.
Asked by Rachel from SINGAPORE | Dec. 08, 2018 07:04Reply
What is Taiyuan air quality from March to September?
I’m thinking of going to a overseas internship at Taiyuan but I heard that the air quality there is not good. Should I consider going there? I’ll be going there for 6 months from March to September.
Answers (1)
Answered by Anna from AUSTRALIA | Dec. 09, 2018 22:27
00Reply


Hi, you don't need to worry too much. Generally, the air quality will be terrible in winter, but it's okay in other seasons. Also, you can prepare some anti-haze masks.
Asked by Dawn Peng from SINGAPORE | Sep. 23, 2018 01:49Reply
My family will be traveling to Luoyang in late Nov/early Dec. is the air quality ok?
Answers (1)
Answered by Qiuerre from ROMANIA | Sep. 24, 2018 20:15
00Reply


Generally, the air quality will not be very good in winter and it may be better in sunny days. They are suggested to prepare some anti-haze masks.
Asked by Adriann from USA | Mar. 29, 2018 13:13Reply
What is the average AQI in Nanjing in July?
I can't find details for July 2017. Should the average adult wear a mask? Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Olivia from UNITED KINGDOM | Apr. 02, 2018 01:12
00Reply


Well, you don't need to wear a mask. Based on the previous statistics, the air quality would be good during that period of time.
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